The preponderance of the evidence indicates that Hg exposure is causal and/or contributory to ASD.
Current Knowledge on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) from Animal Biology to Humans, from Pregnancy to Adulthood: Highlights from a National Italian Meeting
Maria Elisabeth Street, et al. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018, 19, 1647.
This manuscript reviews the reports of a multidisciplinary national meeting on the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Section 3 specifically discusses EDCs and neurodevelopmental diseases in humans, with a focus on autism. Recent studies point to an equal contribution of environmental factors, particularly environmental toxicants, and genetic susceptibility, but only a few industrial chemicals (e.g., lead (Pb), methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arsenic (As), and toluene) are recognized causes of neurodevelopmental disorders and subclinical brain dysfunction. The recent discovery that heavy metals such as cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb) may exhibit endocrine-disrupting activity in animal models, probably by interfering with zinc-fingers of nuclear estrogen receptors. The authors review research on mercury, PCBs, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, Phthalates, BPAs, and pesticides.